Posted in Autism, Books, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

Sometimes simple and straightforward are best.1cats1

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) explains Asperger’s Syndrome perfectly. And it has adorable pictures of cats being adorable.

This delightful and deceptively minimal book is the first book you should read if someone you love is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (also called Aspergers Syndrome, or Asperger Syndrome, or Asperger’s, or Aspergers).sheldon6

The only downside? Like Sheldon Cooper (played so brilliantly by Jim Parsons) on The Big Bang Theory, it makes it sound much cuter than it usually is; for those who have it and those who love them. Or Sherlock Holmes (take your pick, the most recent, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) which makes it seem exciting…Or all the other examples of Aspergian or High-Functioning Autism on TV, in movies or books.

The truth, it’s difficult, frustrating, wonderful, sad, amazing, and confusing…for all concerned.

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IM000556.JPGThere are many great books I would recommend, but these are quite helpful, informative and above all, accessible.
Borrow them from a friend, library, or Autism association; or purchase them in store or online.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome – Dr. Tony Attwood; Inside Asperger’s Looking Out – Kathy Hoopmann; An Asperger Dictionary of Everyday Expressions – Ian Stuart-Hamilton; Kids in the Syndrome Mix – Martin L Kutscher, MD; The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome – Patricia Romanowski Bashe & Barbara L. Kirby (Harmony Books); The Autism Discussion Page on the Core Challenges of Autism – Bill Nason (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)1cats10The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Asperger’s Syndrome – William Stillman (Adams Media)
The Asperger’s Answer Book – Susan Ashley, Ph.D. (Sourcebooks, Inc.)
Empowered Autism Parenting – William Stillman (Jossey-Bass)
The Fabric of Autism – Judith Bluestone (Sapphire Enterprises, LLC)
How To Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s – Jennifer McIlwee Myers (Future Horizons)
Quirky, Yes Hopeless, No – Cynthia La Brie Norall, Ph.D w/ Beth Wagner Brust (St. Martin’s Griffin)1cats9

Thank goodness for Jessica Kingsley Publishers, I don’t know what I would have done without them.

If your child, spouse, friend, or yourself is diagnosed – don’t panic!

HHgttg don't panic
1cats3Media, doom and gloomers, people holding mock funerals for their children when they’re diagnosed, etc., even those who wish to help can intentionally or unintentionally scare you.
Don’t get caught up in the conflict people, people that love to make everything a drama.
Don’t hyper-focus on people ‘understanding’, including your family or friends, how could they understand? Just hope they’re supportive.
Focus on helping the person you love.
They’re still the same person, you just have a diagnosis that will aid you and others, to help them.
Helping the person you love find the skills and resources is taxing enough without adding fuss.

It’s also important to remember Autism isn’t a straight road, there are many, many twists and turns, ups and downs.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~Confusius

1cats4

My son has Asperger’s and several medical conditions, but is doing better than anyone would have predicted.
Yet when a setback comes along, a medical procedure; other anxiety-provoking situations, people, challenges; illness, or something that is overwhelming I have to remember, it may seem like one step forward, two back, but he still took that one step forward.

But it’s still been a long few days.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

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17 thoughts on “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

  1. As a lover of cats and Aspies I must hunt up this book.

    Explanation: I’m a classic Myers-Briggs Introvert — almost off the scale. And a “Highly Sensitive Person,” if you take Elaine Aron’s questionnaires (Google it up). That means that while I am totally neurotypical, my comfort zone overlaps that of AS people in many ways, and I’m convinced that at least one good friend, and my only known married spouse (divorced since 1997 and dead since 2007), were probably undiagnosed AS. I can’t handle social pummeling or harsh sensory input and so I seek out people with the same inclinations, and AS is just going to pop up in that pool.

    And yeah, it’s cute and clever in Sherlock, but in real life it’s also meltdowns and what is archly called “co-morbidity,” meaning in part that spectrum disorders, whatever their gifts, also mean vulnerability to social abuse and depression and episodes of sheer copelessness.

    Still… I love the cat comparison. A client of mine has a full blown autistic son who comes occasionally for body work and whose fascination with my house charms me even while I see what a handful it must be for his parents. He looks around, handles things (delicately), doesn’t think to ask before touching, blurts out thoughts on his mind… His dad apologized for it once and I honestly said “Please don’t take this the wrong way but since I have four cats, the way James acts is so familiar it doesn’t bother me.”

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    1. I hope you like it. It’s a deceptively simplistic explanation that makes perfect sense.
      Thank you so much for dropping by and sharing your stories and insights.
      And thanks for the questionnaires info, I’ll look it up. 🙂

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    2. Sledpress, I am fascinated by what you said about yourself. I have spent a lot of time and energy lately trying to analyze myself and figure out what makes me different and what makes me tick. I seem to have some of the same hangups as ASD people, however I “fail” fail all the tests out there. I wish there was an instruction manual on how to parent when you have these traits LOL. My daughter had all the warning signs of ASD as a toddler but now just seems to exhibit traits of SPD (though I think she may have a toe on the spectrum).

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      1. If you haven’t taken the MBTI or the Keirsey type sorter http://www.keirsey.com/ that might be enlightening — it’s amazing how off the scale introversion overlaps some types of “disorder” diagnoses when it’s really just a way of being. And I can’t recommend Elaine Aron too highly: http://www.hsperson.com/

        Both of these “personality minorities” have loads in common with AS people.

        I think we’re eventually going to come to an understanding of how ways of processing experience reach extremes which have both handicaps and advantages. It’s one of the things I admire about Tony Attwood; he counsels Asperger’s clients to play to their strengths. My most likely (undiagnosed) AS friend scared people with his meltdowns and inability to STFU when he got going on a topic, but he was so good at marshalling data in support of an argument that it was astonishing. Always identified with cats, too.

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      2. Yes, Tony Attwood is amazing. I’ve watched a lecture series he did quite a few times, plus all his amazing Youtube vids, etc. and his book The Complete Guide To Aspergers is well-thumbed.
        I think it’s wonderful you’re so self-aware, that means you can play to your strengths. 🙂

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      3. It’s a lot more fun to know what being introverted and sensitive is good for, as opposed to the days when I was a despised “weirdo” for reading books and hating parties. The older you get the more use those qualities are… 🙂

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      4. It’s important for people to see qualities for what they may be good for, as opposed to just assuming they’re bad, or heaven forbid, not ‘normal’ (whatever that is). I’m so glad you’ve found your way. 🙂

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  2. I never thought about it but cats=aspergers, perfect sense! You’re right, it’s not always as cute as it is sometimes represented. My friend’s son is an aspie and we have watched him grow from a young boy to a teenager and I have been blown away at all the progress he has made. I know a lot of it is because of the tireless work his mom put into getting him treatment and putting him in the right situations for him to flourish.

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  3. A very thought provoking post and all the comments.
    I am very introverted but I also identified with many characteristics in All Cats Have Aspergers. It’s taken a lot of time to become more comfortable in my own skin and not feel like I ‘don’t belong’. It’s hard to make your way in a world that values loud, confident people – even if they are spewing nonsense.

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    1. Sad, but very true. The world seems to listen to raucous, obnoxious voices that seem confident, yes, even if they’re spewing nonsense, or perhaps because they’re spewing nonsense. It’s a wonderful book. I’m glad you’re more comfortable now. 🙂

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